Skip to main content

Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

See other formats

330                                      ETOCOLOGY OF LOCAL KAMES.
a Hindu's organs of speech {as the grammarians had noticed to be the Invari-
able case) have a natural and unconscious tendency to the change,* This
tendency in still existing in foil force, and my observing it to be so in another
local compound first suggested to me the identification of uri with purL Thus
the beautifal lake at Gobardhan with the mansoienm of the first of the Bharat-
pur Rsjas is called indifferently Kusnm-sarovar3 or Kusumokhar; and at
Ikrsana is a tank, called either Bhanokhar or Brikhbhan kd pokhnr. after
Badha's reputed father Brikh-bhaa. Both in Knsumokhar and Bhanokhar it
is evident that the latter part of the compound was originally pok/utr, and in
the same way as the initial p has been there elided, so also has it been in
Sijjuiili and Maholi. The explanation of the last-mentioned word 'Maholi' is
one of the most obvious and at the same time one of the most interesting results
of my theory. It is the name of the village some four miles from llathura
which has grown up in the vicinity of the sacred grove of Madhuban, where
Bdraa's brother Satrnghna destroyed the giant lladhu. On the site of the
captured stronghold the hero is said to have built a city, called indiscriminately
in Sanskrit literature Mathura or Madhn-puri: the fact, no doubt, being that
Matbir& was originally the name of the country, with Madhu-pnri for its capital.
la course of time the capital, like most Indian cities, gradually shifted its site,
probably in order to follow the receding river; while Madhu-puri itself, fixed by
the locality of the wood that formed its centre, became first a suburb and finally
an entirely distinct village. Simultaneously with these changes, the name of
the country at large was attached par excellence to its chief city, and Madhu-
puri in its obscurity became a prey to phonetic decay and was corrupted into
Maholi. The transition is a simple one; the h being substituted for dh by the
rule IL 27 Klia-gJia-tha-dIm IMm Hah, which gives us the Hindi bahira for
the Sanskrit lodkira, i deaf/ andtfca/лл for vadku, 6 a female relation.*
It will be observed that Madhu-pnri as a literary synonym for Mathuii
remains unchanged and is transformed into Maholi only as the name of an
insignificant village. Thus an easy solution is found for the difficulty raised
by the same critic I have before quoted, who objects, " If it is possible in the
lapse of time to elide the p of pwn'j why have not the oldest towns in India
like Bastina-pur yielded to ihe change ? and in the case of more modem towns
why do we not find the change half-effected, some middle place in the transition
stage?" To the former of these two questions I reply that a name when once
* ttei tiw Agia alw^fceepers, who have conYerted Blnnfc-ganj into Belangaajj
mrm tend of YEwrwM, tat tfagr htrc certainly ffaootfi imconaclomlT